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Voices of Women with Host Kris Steinnes: Max Dashu shares her new book Witches and Pagans

  07/29/2016  01:00 pm PDT

So an Old English scribe let us know that witches counseled the people to “bring their offerings to earth-fast stone, and also to trees and to wellsprings.” In this compelling exploration of language, archaeology, medieval literature and art, Max Dashu pulls the covers off of heritages known to few but scholarly specialists. She shows that old ethnic names for “witch” signify wise-woman, prophetess, diviner, healer, and dreamer. Scandinavian völur ("staff-women") held oracular ceremonies with incantations, and "sitting-out on the land for wisdom. Archaeology shows that their ritual staffs symbolize the distaff, a spinning tool that connects with broad cultural themes of goddesses, fates, witches, and female power. This book plunges into the megalithic taproot of the elder kindreds, and traditions of the Cailleach. Drawing on Frankish and German ecclesiastical sources, it lays out the founding witch-legend of the Women Who Go by Night with the Goddess, “the witch Holda,” also known as Holle, Swanfoot Berthe and Fraw Percht. Other chapters look at Wyrd, weaver of destiny, “mystery-singers,” ancestor veneration, herb-chanters—and sexual politics, including early medieval witch burnings. Witches and Pagans gathers strands to reweave the ripped webs of European women's culture.


Kris Steinnes

Voices of Women Fridays at 1pm pt 4pm et.Kris Steinnes began her spiritual journey in 1990 when she discovered her mission to bring people together. In 1993 after reading t...

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Max Dashu

Max Dashu is a history sibyl who uses images to teach women's global history and heritages. Her legendary slideshows and webcasts bring to light the women of power hidden aw...

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Debbie Pokornik